“Will you run another marathon?”
Yes, I will run another marathon. And if luck has it, I will do it within the next year.
I ran my first marathon at 22 years old. I ran it in 4:05. My original goal for my first time was to finish in under four hours, so that goal is still yet to be accomplished. And since I have already completed one marathon, I know I can only improve from here.
At such a young age and with nothing holding me back, I still have the energy and time to commit myself to another long season of training. In spite of the early mornings and the fatigue and hunger that accompanies such an intense weekly workout schedule, I would not hesitate to do it again.
As I have said before, this experience has changed me in so many ways. Physically, my body is in a condition that my high school pin-thin self would envy. Despite more pounds on my petite frame from my high school years, my perception of healthy is no longer based on a number on a scale. It is based on my strength, my endurance and my self-confidence, which are now at all-time highs.
But besides physical strength, I have proven to myself that I am also mentally strong. There were certainly moments over the past months when I questioned whether I would be marathon-ready after a relatively short period of running (less than two years), yet all it took was a few moments out pounding the pavement in my sneakers to feel better and know that this is something I can accomplish. Even when ideas of self-doubt and regret flooded my mind, I took to the streets to blast Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris to sweat out those negative thoughts.
And while the training may have stifled my Friday night social life, there is something to be said about being able to drop “I’m training for a marathon” while in conversation with perfect strangers.
So which race I might conquer next is unclear. Since you never forget your first, perhaps I will run the Marine Corps Marathon again next October. Or maybe I’ll tackle the flat course in the WIndy City of Chicago. But as I wait for the lotteries to open for those race, I already have the Rock N’ Roll half marathon next march in D.C. to begin preparations. After my first 26.2 miles, half marathons almost sound easy. Almost.
Last week was only the first chapter in my marathon-running story; who knows where the next few chapters might take me.